Local product promotes, mingles with music stars

While growing up in Donalda, Jim Cressman never thought he would later work with the entertainment industry’s biggest stars

While growing up in Donalda, Jim Cressman never thought he would later work with the entertainment industry’s biggest stars, but today he’s doing just that.

In June, he formed his own artist services company — Invictus Entertainment Group — based in Penticton, B.C.

“I’m excited about working in the music business,” said Cressman, 37.

In some of his most recent work, Cressman arranged for Carrie Underwood to tour Dawson Creek, Prince George and Abbotsford, B.C., and Moose Jaw, Sask.

He said he has worked with the likes of Reba McEntire, Keith Urban, Kiss and Maroon 5.

Cressman was raised on a mixed farm at Donalda that raised cattle, grain and hay.

He attended kindergarten to Grade 9 at Donalda and graduated from William E. Hay Composite High School in Stettler in 1993.

His family lived at Gadsby before moving to Donalda, where his parents lived until 2009, when they settled in Calgary.

After graduation, Cressman enrolled in broadcast journalism at Mount Royal College in Calgary. He said he got his start in radio at Q14 in Stettler.

His career later took him to Calgary, working for Country 105 radio station. He made connections with people in the music industry that eventually led to his present career.

Cressman worked at Key Entertainment Group for six years before he and partner Ron Sakamoto purchased the Calgary-based company to form Cressman Sakamoto Agency. That arrangement lasted six years. Cressman bought out Sakamoto’s interest to form his own company.

Cressman said that when he was working at the Stettler radio station, he was inspired by Q14 program director Russell Thomas, who “did everything to bring Prairie Oyster to Stettler.”

The group was one of the nation’s biggest country acts at the time and Stettler was considered a small market.

That drive impressed Cressman and never left him. Today, a major focus of his company is to book big-name artists for secondary and tertiary markets.

Cressman sits on the board of the Canadian Country Music Association, which helps his work with Canadian country music artists, he said.

Among current Invictus clients are George Canyon, Terri Clark, Emerson Drive, Brett Kissel, Charlie Major, One More Girl and Aaron Pritchett.

The booking agency deals with Canadian, U.S. and international stars in all genres of music.

With his small-town roots, Cressman said he finds satisfaction in the promotion of major stars to secondary markets.

Otherwise, some fans would need to drive two to four hours for a major show, he said.

Cressman said stars appreciate playing for new fans. It also creates an economic spark for the communities.

“Artists get a tremendous reception going to smaller centres — with an incredulous home-town atmosphere — it’s electric,” he said.

Cressman was involved in bringing the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and George Canyon to Stettler.

He was also the agent for One More Girl when the band was scheduled to perform in Stettler in the fall. The show was cancelled because of low ticket sales.

Cressman said the sister-duo are rising stars, and people will likely regret not getting tickets when they had the chance to see the siblings perform live in Stettler.

He said he has booked multiple acts for Red Deer’s Westerner Days. Among them are Reba McEntire and Johnny Reid.

“I’ve done quite a bit of work, right up the road (from Stettler),” Cressman said.

Cressman now calls Penticton home. He said he loves the mild weather and the quietness of small town life.

“It brings a level of balance to the frantic activity in my professional life,” he said.

Just Posted

Remembering the start of Stettler’s new airfield

In June of 1969, a crowd of more than 1,000 attended the grand opening of the new facility

There’s a new program coordinator at Stettler Parent Link

Cori Neilson is excited about expanding the services of the organization

P&H Elevator Harvest Supper slated for Aug. 24th

Highlights include a threshing demo, rope making and a turkey dinner with all the trimmings

Stettler native Colter Long has landed a 2019 Knowledge First Financial Graduate Scholarship

Long is working towards his master of education with a specialty in counseling psychology

Central Alberta Business Centre launches operations in Stettler

Everyone is invited to the grand opening on Aug. 19th from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

QUIZ: How much do you remember about Woodstock?

Weekend music festival in Bethel, New York, was held 50 years ago

Wetaskiwin RCMP arrest two in Camrose after report of suspicious persons

Fugitives try to flee on ATVS, one allegedly steals police car

Advocates ‘internationalize’ the fight to free Raif Badawi from Saudi prison

Raif Badawi was arrested on June 17, 2012, and was later sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in jail for his online criticism of Saudi clerics

Canada ‘disappointed’ terror suspect’s British citizenship revoked

Jack Letts, who was dubbed “Jihadi Jack” by the U.K. media, has been detained in a Kurdish prison for about two years

Chrystia Freeland condemns violence in Hong Kong, backs right to peaceful assembly

There have been months of protests in the semi-autonomous region

‘It’s just the freedom:’ Paralyzed Broncos player pursuing life on the water

The former Humboldt Broncos goaltender, who started in the net when he was nine, was paralyzed last year

Central Alberta Buccaneers punch ticket to AFL Final

28-20 win over Fort Mac sets up likely date against Calgary Wolf Pack

Canadians killed in Afghanistan honoured during emotional dedication ceremony

One-hundred-fifty-eight Canadian soldiers died during the mission

Discussion on grief and loss between Stephen Colbert, Anderson Cooper goes viral

The exchange includes emotional question from Cooper, and outlook on grief as a child

Most Read